Merced, S. Fork - 2) Snyder Gulch to Main Merced

Merced, S. Fork, California, US


2) Snyder Gulch to Main Merced

Usual Difficulty III-IV (for normal flows)
Length 7.4 Miles
Avg. Gradient 34 fpm

SF Merced at Main Merced confluence

SF Merced at Main Merced confluence
Photo by Paul Martzen taken 03/15/07

River Description

This section of the SF Merced is class 4 from Snyder Gulch to Hite's Cove and mostly class 3 from there to the main Merced. It is a beautiful canyon with interesting and long rapids. This section is a good option for those who do not want to commit to the class 5 rapids upstream in the Wawona to Main Merced section.

Getting There: From the take-out on Highway 140, backtrack towards Mariposa, then turn left onto Triangle Road. At the intersection of Triangle, Darrah and Jerseydale Road, turn left (north) onto Jerseydale Rd. After nearly 4 miles turn north onto Scott Rd, and follow it to Hite's Cove Rd. Make sure you have a good map when trying to find these roads and trails

There are two put-in options.   The best option is to park at the Snyder Gulch trailhead.   Any regular car can reach this spot.   From here hike about 3 miles down the Snyder Gulch trail to the river at Snyder Gulch.   This hike gains two miles of wonderful long class 4 rapids between Snyder Gulch and Hite's Cove.   This trail  faces east and gets full morning sun, so it is best to get a very early start. There are several sections of thick poison oak along the trail, so carry soap to wash off when you reach the river.

You can drive down the Hite's Cove Rd. until you reach the river, but this requires a high clearance vehicle and 4 wheel drive is recommended. It is a very rough road and slow going.   It will probably take over an hour to drive to the river from the trailhead.   This also reduces the length of the run by over 2 miles.

Other Information Sources:

See The Best Whitewater in California (3rd ed.), by Lars Holbek and Chuck Stanley, 1998.

StreamTeam Status: Verified
Last Updated: 2006-05-30 15:18:40


Rapid Descriptions

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